(torrential downpour)

“It is beyond question that this would further complicate the situation, but I would also understand if you decided to go.”

— A therapist practicing impartiality

 

You are a pastime that I cannot let go,

and making mistakes is a dangerous hobby.

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6.22.18

Remembering who I am is a hot-cheeked, sinking feeling.

Pins and needles, butterflies in the ventricles.

Blood flow returning to areas that had lost feeling,

that had been presumed dead.

 

Have you ever been thirsty and drank much water so fast that your stomach hurt?

Things that you need are not always comfortable.

Sometimes things that you need happen all at once.

 

Sometimes they do not feel like giddiness,

but like the dizzying disorientation of being up too high on a tall building.

I am crashing back to reality.

You revel in my fall.

6.21.18 (jenga and the price of infidelity)

My first move was jimmying a piece from the bottom. It was all about strategy. You destabilize the foundation first, and every move after is a risky one.

From that point on, both of us wince and grimace at the difficulty of removing more blocks from the precarious structure. Like it’s a game we’re playing as equals — just trying to keep the whole thing from toppling over.

But my first move was determinate. We were working in the landscape I created.

And from that first move, there was no going back.

(describe a first)

The air was hollow and carried the light scent of disinfectant. There was no clock to watch – they never put clocks in waiting rooms. So I alternated between starting at the tile floor and the bag you had left next to me. You didn’t even take your wallet with you when they called your name. But I sat in reception, thighs sticking to the merciless plastic as my heart bobbed in my chest. Intermittent palpitations reminded me why we were there.

I just kept thinking of your voice and the softness of your skin and how you’d left me there, entrusting me with all of your worldly belongings and the memories of who you were before today. Despite you not even putting me down as an emergency contact.

I was not bitter, I was afraid. When I followed you down the hallway on our way out, I was afraid. I am still trying to differentiate femininity from the female and I’m not sure which quality of your’s I’m mourning.

In the morning, I looked at you, and everything was the same. This morning, I looked at you, and everything was the same.

But I still brace myself, anticipating your disappearance.

2.14.18

I found myself in a basement

In her arms or lap or eyes

Because the others dared me to, or I dared myself to

 

Then her lips were on mine and my heart was all the way up here

Threatening to give me away, to burst from my 12 year old body

 

I’ve heard of many first kisses as memorable and meaningful as rubbing shoulders with a stranger on the train

Mine was more like kicking up from the curb and peddling a bike for the first time without training wheels

 

Never wanting to go back

Only going back when it seemed easier to walk than explain to others how it felt to fly

I am not afraid of love but I find myself afraid of what my love means to others

 

After all of this time

11.8.17

When I was a kid I wanted glasses

 

This was read as school age hypochondriac, finger on the pulse of her own anxieties or like

You just probably want attention or like

You probably just think they’re cute

 

I think I always just wanted to be pretty

There’s this scene from Princess Diaries where the main character takes off her glasses and becomes a princess

I think I wanted the glasses just so I could take them off again

 

Prove that the underneath wasn’t so bad after all

Prove that the grass was greener,

Or at least that the color of my eyes was a little more blue jay than storm

 

But my brain didn’t know how to process this

So I named the desire glasses, and never thought much about how glasses are like a disguise

And that I’ve wanted one since I was old enough to know what it was

 

And though I’d argue that a girl in a prom dress is more camouflaged than a kid on Halloween

I think that particular kind of costume never fit quite right

 

Femininity never fit me quite right

It was a skirt that I was always yanking down to hit the tips of my fingers, like the dress code required

Or a bra that didn’t round out my chest in the prescribed way

It was seven days, always seven days, of a reminder that I was not living up to my own definition

 

But yesterday, my dark roots and acne told the mirror that they thought I was growing into myself

The mirror laughed, like only that kind of glass can — in glittering, shimmering waves

 

I was not discouraged, because though we are old acquaintances we have never seen eye to eye

I have since stopped trying to internalize our relationship

It has never been about me, it’s always been about angles and lighting and the physics of perception and I have given up on math

 

I don’t want to be a Woman

I want Woman to be me

I want Woman to walk in my shoes

 

Feel the friction of the ballet flat or stiletto on the back of Her heel

Feel the dig of the brassiere and the dig of the stares

Bear the awareness that She is object or She is nothing

 

And then I want to break Her, until Her criteria crumble like the powder in a compact

Falling into my lap, only to be shaken onto the hardwood floor

I want Her to mean nothing without me

 

She will bear a unique name that sounds an awful lot like rain hitting an umbrella overhead

Suspended from impact

Although a glance at my unshaven legs may still elicit the bitter hiss of some 1950s propaganda within my own mind

 

I decided to major in gender studies instead of self-deprecation

Stop spending ice cream money on cigarettes

Think about things more controversial than mirrors

 

The girl in the Princess Diaries let femininity limpen her hair and cover her legs, take off her glasses

She gave up her own sight so that she would be easier on everyone else’s

 

This week I got my first pair of glasses

My eyes are open

9.6.17

Our conversations are morphing into side effect show and tell

We are our own classes and there seems to be no contraindication,

but fuck, I still run through the signs in my head

Still play back the days where we were unmedicated, unmitigated lovers loving every second of our interactions

 

And you are changing now

But I don’t love this less

I will assess you, taste test you, slide my hands over your body

and learn who you are today

 

Placate this pressure in my chest that boils over when I think of the frequency of your voice dropping to my feet instead on grazing my cheek

When I think of your soft, your smoothness, your rounded edges melting off to reveal the hard

When I think of your hunger getting worse, and the things you might do to satiate it

 

I have no way of knowing who you are going to be,

but I see that you care for me

I will take that solace like my last dose

What I hope for most is your happiness